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Camcorders buying guide

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So you want to catch all those special momemts like weddings, your childs first steps, holidays - investing in a good camcorder is the perect way to do this. If you are a camcorder virgin then you may get baffled with all the terminology and different specs and makes, not to mention the varying prices it can be a very daunting experience and you need to ensure that you pick the right one.

Handy tips when buying a new camcorder

Here are a few handy tips from our Price Inspector for you to consider before making your purchase:

  • First, you need to establish how you are going to get best use out of your camcorder. Iis just going to come out of the cupboard at christmas and birthday times or are you going to be using on a more regular basis an even take abroad on holiday with. This should determine how much to spend on a new camcorder.
  • Megapixels - don't get too bogged down with this for your camcorder as it this is only relevent to any 'still' images that you take. If the quality of the image on the video does matter then you need to look at how many chips and also the size. Remember that the size of the censor matters more than the megapixels.
  • Consider the lens size on your camcorder as size really does matter as it produces better image quality.
  • Wide angle shooting should also be considered. It depends on whether you are trying to shoot somebody or something next to you or at a great distance. Ensure that you look at the angle ability of your camcorder or you may be disappointed.
  • Find out how well a camcorder will perform in areas where the lighting may not be that good, for example if you are recording things in your basement or garage, this is key if you want to get the best quality images out of your camcorder.
  • Ensure that the camcorder you are thinking of buying suits you. If you have a small frame or not very good at holding things for a long period of time, you don't a camcorder that is too heavy or bulky. You also need to check to see if it suitable to travel with you on holiday - if its too large you will may need a seperate suitcase and we all know how much airports charge for extra baggage!
  • Features - consider these very carefully, if you are no Steven Speilberg and don't ever intend on trying, don't splash the cash on a camcorder that is over complicated with a spec that you will never use.
  • Invest in a good Tripod, this will help ensure that you get the best results. But do be careful, if is crucial that you get one and don't have to pay over the odds too. Ensure that it can be adjusted to the right height that suits your recording needs. 72 inches is a good recommended height. Anything lower than this would just not do the trick.
  • Look out for over-eager sales assistants trying to sell you added extras such as camcorder bags or extra tapes as it will bump up your costs. Ensure that you have a good look around on for some great deals.


Prices range from about £200 for a basic camcorder to £3000+ fot the budding movie directors!

Popular Camcorder brands to look out for include:

Buying Guide to Camcorders
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